he name of the eleventh month on the Jewish calendar, Av, literally means “father.” It is customary to add the name Menachem, which means “comforter” or “consoler”—so Menachem Av. Av is the month in which both Temples were destroyed and many other tragedies occurred in Jewish history. At this time, it is easy for us to feel deserted, lost and alone, yet we are taught that our Father in heaven is there to comfort and console us.
Av on one hand has a “low point” of the Jewish calendar—the 9th of Av, the day of the sin of the spies and the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. On the other hand, it also incorporates a “high point”: the 15th of Av, a day designated for finding one’s predestined soulmate, is considered one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar.
May we speedily merit the ultimate redemption, when days of sorrow will be turned to days of joy, and we will celebrate once again in our holy Temple in Jerusalem.